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2011 Referee Week in Review - Week 14



Referee Week in Review – Week 14

The Situation: Chicago and New England are tied 1-1 in the 91st minute of play. 

The Play: New England is awarded a free kick and the Chicago defender interferes with the restart. 

The Decision: The referee issues the defender a yellow card and the free kick is retaken.   

My Take: The defender clearly does not move the required 10 yards away from the spot of the free kick.  In contrast, the player moves towards the placement of the ball and disrupts the restart.  This is an example of a player failing to respect the required distance and this action is a cautionable offense.  The referee correctly shows the player a yellow card. 

The Laws of the Game: Law 12 provides a list of the seven cautionable offenses for players, which includes failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in.  More information on the cautionable and sending-off offenses can be found here: 2011 7+7 Memo.


The Situation: Portland is leading New York 3-2 in 93rd minute. 

The Play: Prior to a goal kick being taken, two players are involved in a physical exchange. 

The Decision: The incident takes place away from the ball and play is held up as the referee and assistant referee discuss the incident.  Following the discussion, the referee sends off one player and cautions the other. 

My Take: Despite all the variables at play, the referee crew does a good job of maintaining their focus on all elements of the game. The referee and assistant referee do an excellent job of communicating to make sure the misconduct is addressed. This incident happens in stoppage time of a closely contested game and is a great example of why referee crews must be vigilant and maintain their concentration until the final whistle. 

The Laws of the Game: Law 5 states that the duties of the referee include controlling the match in cooperation with the assistant referees and act on the advice of the assistant referee on incidents he hasn’t seen. Law 5 also mandates that the referee is charged with taking disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offenses. 

Michael Kennedy is a current MLS referee and has officiated in the league since its founding in 1996. In addition to serving as a professional referee, he has also represented U.S. Soccer as both a FIFA referee and assistant referee.

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